Each week, we shift the emphasis to the left side of the hyphen and have a wide-ranging conversation with one of our diverse scholar-athletes.Name: Kate McFetridge
Sport: Women's Crew
Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Jordan Moore (JM): I am from New Jersey as well. Where is West Deptford? You're not in Snookie country are you?
Kate McFetridge (KM): West Deptford is in South Jersey, I'm about ten minutes away from the bridge to Philadelphia. Lol. I had no idea what Snookie country was until I just googled it. I have never watched Jersey Shore in my life! I can say from what I've heard from other people I don't think its cast members are much like the people around WD.
JM: So, when I say "The City," do you think Philadelphia or New York?
KM: Philadelphia!! This is my favorite city in the country.
JM: What's harder to find in L.A., a good bagel or a good cheesesteak?
KM: Cheesesteak of course! There is nothing like a Philly cheesesteak. My dad makes the best pizza and cheesesteaks around.
JM: Did you come to USC to be a doctor or a rower?
KM: A doctor. I got the okay to travel across the country from my parents because I was accepted into USC's Baccalaureate MD Program which guarantees you acceptance into the Keck School of Medicine upon satisfying certain GPA and MCAT requirements. Learning about rowing was an absolute accident - I walked up to the rowing table at the involvement fair during the first week of school freshman year and was like, "Do you guys have a field hockey team?" And they were like, "No, but come row!" "I was like, what's rowing? OK!" :)
JM: I don't know if I could handle the coxswain yelling at me the whole time. Do you ever envision chucking her out of the boat?
KM: There is a tradition that when you win, the rowers throw their coxswains in the water. I dream of throwing one of my coxswains in the water at PAC-10s or NCAA day in and day out.
JM: Do you have your friends yell at you when you are studying for medical exams?
KM: Haha not quite, but I surely do appreciate all the the support that these women give me. It's really your teammates that keep you going when school is tough and life is hard.
JM: Dr. McFetridge sounds like a Grey's Anatomy doctor. McSteamy and McDreamy are already taken. What is your doctor nickname going to be?
KM: Haha well the girls on my field hockey team in high school used to call me "McNasty" because of my hockey skills, but I don't think that would be too appropriate or comforting for my patients. My rowing coach at home calls me "McLovin." It will be interesting to see what the field of medicine brings out.
JM: You were recently accepted into the Teach for America program. With all that you have going on, why is it important to you to put that on pause so you can help kids?
KM: Educational inequity is a serious problem that is going on in the United States. I have always been so fortunate to have wonderful teachers and my parents have always encouraged a genuine love for learning. I am so excited to be a part of the movement to bring greater educational opportunities to all children. I'm going to be teaching high school science, so I'm hoping to inspire some future doctors and engineers and scientists and also maybe some collegiate scholar athletes!
JM: You are contemplating trying for the Olympics. Maybe I can help, what does the decision hinge on?
KM: Could you buy me a single?? : ) To be honest, figuring out how I would support myself financially while training to see if I can even get to the Olympic level is one of my greatest challenges. I am hoping that while teaching in Philadelphia, I will be able to see if I continue progressing and have any shot at making the national team. After the two year stint of teaching I can see myself making a more definitive move to either go to medical school or shoot for 2016.
JM: The 2016 Olympics are in Rio de Janeiro. That sounds like a sign to me...